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Traveling with RFN

Jacksonville, Florida Bowling Green

A Crown City with Many Jewels - Showcasing Their Love of Veterans

By Charlene Adamson

Returning to Jacksonville last November closed RFN’s 2011 season. The Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport was a welcome assurance that all would be well. That is the reputation that Jacksonville has earned both by the quality and care of the hotel, as well as the expertise of the CVB. It is especially heart-warming to return time and time again and the same key players to be there. In this industry, that is unusual!

Under the direction of Janice Dailey and Karen Howell, the staff of the Crowne Plaza stepped up to the plate and created an atmosphere of true hospitality. We were among “old friends.” From the General Manager to the maintenance and housekeeping departments, it was obvious that this hotel is appreciated and it showed in each person’s attitude, smile, and helpfulness. When the next few days were busy and full, watching the beautiful river from the guestroom and seeing Jacksonville’s evening lights appear got us ready for the following days.

Alex Michaels and Nicole Trueblood were champions at the CVB and old friend, Bob Meyer, who is taking over the Military Reunion Market, shared much of his time with the ConFAM©

. Jacksonville Riverwalk

Highlights of the event for the nearly 100 planners, guests and exhibitors were the booking successes. The exhibitor cocktail reception was well attended and planners dropped by to see everyone. Jacksonville and its hospitality industry is unique in that it works together as a team to bring groups to their destination. While many cities are the same, there are those that compete so highly that we miss the needed site inspections and other venues. Our good friend, John Aguilera of Active Escapes, oversaw the FAM and all transportation. Meals were wonderful wherever we went, including the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport, The Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk, the Hyatt Regency Riverfront, the Crowne Plaza Riverfront, the Embassy Suites Hotel, and the Sheraton Jacksonville.

Places of interest were the Veterans Memorial Wall, the Maritime Museum, USS Adams Class Naval Ship Museum, Naval Station Mayport, and St. Augustine (I felt younger immediately). Two spectacular evening events were the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in a “Celebrate America” performance and the final night’s dinner and “”My Fair Lady” at the Alhambra Theatre. Jacksonville is a crown city with many jewels all showcasing their love of the veterans. RFN gives Jacksonville a round of applause and will return there in the future. Booking your reunion there is a must.

Fountain of Youth Page 34 R EUNION F R IENDL Y N EWS • Spring, 2012

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